Miramar, Florida, based low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines has just finalized a deal with European planemaker Airbus for 100 Airbus A320neo family aircraft.
In a press release issued by Airbus today, the South Florida budget airline is now committed to purchasing the Airbus jets following on from a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed in October of last year.
The aircraft will comprise of a mixture of the A320neo family of twin-engine narrow-body jets that will include the A319neo, A320neo, and A321neo.
Spirit will decide on engine options at a later date
The neo at the end of the aircraft number refers to “new engine option”, with a choice of the CFM International LEAP-1A or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G engine available.
Airbus did not mention an engine option for the Spirit Airlines order, only saying that it will be chosen at a later date.
Spirit has one of the youngest fleets in the United States
Regarded as being one of the fastest-growing airlines in the United States, the no-frills carrier operates one of the youngest fleets of aircraft in the country with an average age of just six years old.
Of these aircraft, the oldest is the Airbus A319, some of which are nearly 14-years-old.
The all-Airbus fleet is made up of:
- 31 A319s
- 64 A320s
- 20 A320neos
- 30 A321s
Before this latest 100 aircraft order, Spirit is expecting delivery of 48 A320neos in 2020 and 2021 and is something Spirit Airlines CEO Ted Christie talked about in a press statement saying:
“This new order represents another milestone for Spirit. The additional aircraft will be used to support Spirit’s growth as we add new destinations and expand our network across the U.S, Latin America and the Caribbean. We look forward to working with our valued partners at Airbus to finalize our agreement.”
Spirit is all about keeping it simple
When reading about the new order there are no surprises in the fact that Spirit went with Airbus just like low-cost United Kingdom carrier easyJet, as just like easyJet, they are all about conformity.
By upgrading to newer versions of the same family of aircraft, Spirit can keep their crew training, aircraft maintenance and spare parts inventory all streamlined and cost-effective.
With a new generation of fuel-efficient engines that burn 20% less than their predecessors along with a noise reduction level of 50%, Spirit’s new single-aisle cabin should prove to be a hit with fliers.
A little surprisingly Spirit did not opt for the popular Airbus A220 but when you look at seat numbers, it may have been a little too small for their business plan.
Another surprise was not ordering any Airbus A321XLRs which is the longest-range version of the A321neo and would have allowed Spirit to fly from the eastern seaboard of the United States to Europe.
Spirit would appear to be concentrating on their core United States, the Caribbean and Latin America market, and why not if it is working!
Probably the best way to describe Spirit Airlines to people who have never flown them is that they are slightly better than Ryanair and hard to beat when you are looking for the best price.